A young mum who adopted an 18-year-old as her first child went on to adopt two more teenage boys the following year.
Casey Douglas, 29, is mum to three boys who are over the age of 16, having adopted her first at 25 years old.
Although data analyst Casey decided not to have her own children, she knew that she wanted to help vulnerable kids when she and husband Phillip, 33, helped children from disadvantaged families at their local church.
The Christian community she was part of weirdly told her that it was 'a waste of a good uterus', but Casey knew what she wanted to do and carried on with her plan.
She is now a mother of five, with her eldest, Randall, moving to live with her from an abusive home, and Tim and Damon moving in when they were aged 15 and 13 respectively, three years ago.
Casey, who is from Athens, Texas, also took in her husband Phillip's two daughters.
She said: "It's pure chaos and so much fun - they are crazy, they are full of personality and always doing something that makes me angry and frustrated.
"But at the same time, they're boys and they'll just hug you and say, 'I love you mama.' They're very kind-hearted.
"There is a lot that my family has been through and a lot of people look at my family and think it's always been easy and we don't have rough days, but that's not the truth.
"It's always going to be difficult but it's always going to be worth it."
As the daughter of a pastor, her decision didn't go down well in her local community. But Casey said she simply never had the urge to have a baby like others her age. Although she thought it might be a phase, it never passed.
She added: "It was really surprising that we received so much negativity, especially coming from the background of Protestant Christian culture. We were pushed out of friend groups and really struggled to find any support whatsoever."
They started looking in to fostering and adopting in September 2016, with Phillip deciding to have a vasectomy to prove that adopting wasn't a 'Plan B'.
Casey said: "I am NOT a baby or small child type of person, but I knew that we could provide a loving home for an older child.
"The need for foster and adoptive families for older children and teens is through the roof and I also wanted to do something that would really make a difference."
In June 2017, Casey's adoption agency told her that a 16-year-old boy was looking for a home.
Three hours later, they met Randall for the first time - with his fishing pole and two bags of clothes.
Casey said: "The moments before his arrival were insanely emotional. I was a scattered mess, and then in he walked.
"It was like my entire heart walked through our door. It was a little strange how much love I had for him. I knew he was meant to be mine."
Randall spent the first 11 years of his life with his grandmother, until she got ill. He was passed around other homes before finding himself homeless.
Three months after he moved in, Casey and Peter took full custody of Randall, becoming his first ever 'real parents' and adopting him in January 2019.
Casey explained: "Almost like everyone around us was just watching and waiting for us to fail or for him to leave, but instead he chose us as much as we chose him.
"Randall is a rascal. He is also the kindest and most giving young man.
"Just like any other teenager he has BIG emotions and is going through an endless amount of change."
Casey has since taken in Phillip's two daughters, four-year-old Adaline and nine-month-old Alaina.
She said: "I always tell people our lives are like a sitcom being filmed during a hurricane and somehow everyone is on fire.
"Some days are pure chaos. Some are fun. Some are normal. I LOVE raising teenagers. It has changed me down to my very core.
"For our home being open to boys aged eight and over, we used to get calls all the time.
"A lot of people look at adoptive parents of older kids as saints, but it's really simple: if you have a heart for people and a heart for love, it just comes naturally.
"You'll be surprised at the things you can endure and how tough you get and your capabilities - you feel you can do anything."
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